What is Citizen Science?

The London Prosperity Board research projects are co-designed and implemented with citizen scientists; people who live and work in the research sites, who are trained and employed to work as members of the research team. 

Whilst Citizen Science means different things to different people, our approach to is deeply participatory. Local people are involved in the research process from the design phase right through to analysis and dissemination. They are fully briefed on the research project and trained in qualitative and quantitative research methods and research ethics. 

Citizen Scientists bring to research projects a wide range of local knowledge, insights and expertise about the dynamics, needs, strengths and challenges in their neighbourhoods. In doing so, they help us to capture the diversity of experience and values and generate the kind of data that matters to people and is meaningful in relation to their lived experience. It is the kind of information we need to inform the diverse solutions London needs to achieve prosperity.

Our Citizen Scientists are local experts on the challenges to prosperity in their local areas and are acknowledged as such by members of the community, local government and public agencies. Citizen science is a pathway through which communities can prompt positive transformation - even after the research project - through the development of their voice and sharing of their local expertise and knowledge with those who make policies. 

Our Community Researchers 

Tower Hamlets

Akbar Khan - Akbar has been a Bromley By Bow resident all his life. He is currently in his second year of studying for an Accounting and Finance degree. He works in the community as a trustee of Factory East Boxing Charity, which he describes as the place he first felt important in within his community. 

Ivy Tanzila - Ivy has lived in Tower Hamlets since birth. She is a career coach with over eight years’ experience working with young people, the homeless, single parents, people with physical/mental health difficulties, migrants and refugees, over 50s and individuals of all educational and skills backgrounds, working across a range of boroughs spanning London. As a result, she has a strong knowledge of the issues and barriers facing the local community in reaching prosperity. 


Canning Town

Miriam Chapman - Miriam moved to Tower Hamlets in September 2016 to take part in the Year Here Fellowship (postgraduate course in social innovation). As part of this she worked in the digital inclusion team at the Bromley by Bow Centre and helped to set up a community cafe in Hounslow. Alongside the Prosperous Communities project with UCL she is trying her hand at social entrepreneurship and hoping she can create her own community-centred job! 


Olympic Park

Nesrin Yurtoglu - Nesrin has a background in social psychology and is actively involved in a wide range of local networks. She has a good knowledge of the needs and experiences of communities living in East London where she has been a resident for the last 20 years. She is passionate that everyone of all ages and backgrounds living in East London can make most of the regeneration and can access high quality services/facilities that meet their needs.


Barking and Dagenham

Sue Ansarie - Sue has worked on a number of research projects related to displacement and large social change within communities, including projects on the Aylesbury estate in Elephant and Castle, HS2, and working for Just Space. Her main interests are "social research, working class identities and (dis)empowerment, council estates, housing, planning, social policy, community dynamics, migration flows, displacement and social inequality."

Carrie Svinning - Born in Dagenham and living in Bethnal Green, Carrie has always been aware of the regeneration taking place in these areas and the resulting benefits and conflicts that have occurred. She has worked on projects to support the diversification of the creative and cultural workforce and has been involved in a UCL project to explore access points to employment within the ‘Olympicopolis’ regeneration. She also volunteers in her local area, from working with socially isolated older people to supporting community green-space regeneration.


Hackney Wick

Leila Lawal - Leila has spent the last eight years working within the London Borough of Newham where she gained experience helping vulnerable and disabled people to stay in control of their lives, developing training programs for health and social care professionals. She is on the board of her Aberfeldy Big Local, which aims to build a tight knit community.

Fatima Uddin - Fatima is currently in her first year at the University of the Arts London, studying Media Communications. She enjoys photography and has a project that compares different areas of London to East London.  She works with the London Prosperity Board in order to give a voice to marginalised communities.

Learn More

IGP runs a Citizen Science Working Group with London Prosperity Board partners who want to develop capacity to support and work with Citizen Scientists. We meet once per quarter to share information about our respective projects, co-design tools for excellent research outcomes, and provide training support.

If you are interested in learning more about the Citizen Science Working Group, please email Hannah Sender (hannah.sender@ucl.ac.uk).